Weddings are becoming more personalized more than ever. Gone are the traditional vows ,white wedding cakes, and bouquet tossing. Many couples are creating their own vows and creating a day that reflects their lifestyles. Here are some examples;

Instead of traditional church weddings, many couples are choosing outdoor venues with tents for the reception. Restaurants are also becoming popular places to have a small wedding reception. Parks offer beautiful surroundings that don’t require a lot of decoration which cuts costs. Riverboats are an interesting choice if you live close to water. Beach weddings continue to be popular as many couples propose in exotic locations and they want to continue the theme. Backyards of beautiful homes can be an option for a small wedding (no cookouts though!)

Cakes are no longer just white! They have become beautiful works of art that reflect the theme and style of a wedding. They can be done in any color scheme to match the color scheme of the day. The cake can also be enhanced with flowers that coordinate with the bouquets and centerpieces. The cakes now are very intricate in design and also taste great (thank goodness!) Cake bakers have stepped up to the plate and are creating moist, delicious cakes in flavors from French vanilla to oreo crème (yum). They also have decadent fillings from chocolate mousse to strawberry preserves. Couples have so many options these days in the style of cakes. Remember the cakes with plastic stairs and plastic bridesmaids? They are still available of course but only for a vintage theme wedding. Some brides choose to put an individual cake on each table which eliminates the need for a centerpiece and paying extra to have someone cut the cake. Cakes don’t have to be round either. They come in many shapes and can be staked or individual cakes on stands of varying heights. I love cake toppers! They can really be personalized. Monogram toppers are very popular. They look elegant and celebrate the new brides name. Floral toppers are also very popular. A simple cake can be made to look very elegant with roses on top and cascading down the sides. There is till the traditional bride and groom toppers but they have come a long way. There are whimsical ones with the bride dragging the groom and there are some that reflect the couples careers or hobbies.

Flowers are still a big part of the wedding day. They can also be one of the biggest expenses of the wedding budget. The flowers help decorate the celebration and give it elegance and sophistication. The most popular wedding flowers are still the traditional roses, lilies, hydrangea and stephanotis. Brides used to carry all white cascading bouquets but today’s brides like to carry colorful bouquets in a hand tied more round style bouquet. Flowers that are becoming more popular than ever are gerbera daisies. They are a very large daisy and come in bright beautiful colors like hot pink and orange. Roses will always be popular in weddings because they are the romantic flower. They also come in bright colors as well as the typical pastels and white. Lilies are a beautiful option for bouquets as well. The Asiatic lilies come in shades of orange, pink, yellow and reds. The oriental lilies are very large and fragrant. Stargazer lilies are popular because of their beautiful raspberry color. The only problem with fresh lilies is their stamens can stain clothing if not removed properly. They are difficult to use in hand tied bouquets because they come five flowers on one stem. They work best if designed in a bouquet holder that has wet foam to hold them in place. Hydrangeas make a big fluffy bouquet and come in shades of blue, purple, green and of course white. Hydrangea can be difficult because they wilt easily. They have to be hydrated completely before designing with them. I recommend using a bouquet holder with wet foam for these flowers just to keep them hydrated throughout the day. Lisianthus is a great flowers to use in wedding bouquets. They come in a very deep purple so I use them often in a purple color scheme. They can be floppy so they need to be mixed with other flowers for support. Calla lilies are a favorite with brides because they are very long stemmed elegant flowers. The full size callas make a great arm style bouquet . Mini calla lilies come in a great array of colors from orange , yellow, burgundy, purple and pink.

Less expensive options in flowers are daisies, mums sunflowers, babies breath and carnations. A good designer can make a gorgeous bouquet with inexpensive blooms and save you some money! I have seen a bouquet of all babies breath and it was breath taking. For a winter wedding a flower scheme of babies breath would be beautiful and inexpensive. When babies breath is massed together it looks like snow balls. Daisies are one of my favorite flowers. They are great for a less formal wedding or a country theme wedding. They come bright white, yellow, purple and in the fall they come rust and burgundy.

Floral designers are getting creative with wedding décor these days. Centerpieces don’t have to be huge bouquets of flowers towering above the tables (unless you have a big budget). I love floating candles and floating flowers. Candles create a romantic atmosphere and are less expensive than flowers. Centerpieces are an area where the couple can really put their personality into their wedding day. Sometimes just a large single flower floating in a glass bowl or underwater in a cylinder vase is all that is needed. Also, many designers are recommending having several different centerpieces instead of them all being the same. It is more interesting that way and some can be larger arrangements to give the look of a lot of flowers in the room. I had toy cowboy hats with daisies glued on them for my country themed wedding. By the end of the night, my guests were wearing the centerpieces!

Flowers are typically used for decorating the ceremony as well. Big fluffy pew bows are out!(thank goodness) and simple bows accented with a small bouquet of flowers is more popular today. Pomanders (flower balls) are great for decorating pews as well. They make good bridesmaids bouquets too. Lanterns lining the isle is nice for a fall wedding or a candlelight ceremony. Tulle strewn from pew to pew is an elegant look and not expensive at all. Usually a flower arrangement goes on the altar if getting married in a church. It can be a large arrangement in an urn or a sprinkling of flowers and greenery around the unity candle. Plants and greenery are good options as well and can be taken home and planted in your garden after the wedding. Outdoor settings may not require a lot of decorating because mother nature did it for you. Gazebos and arches are fun to decorate. They usually need some type of floral accent. Usually a spray of flowers or a garland works well.

Wedding catering has changed a lot these days. It used to be chicken and roast beef and mashed potatoes at every wedding! Couples now are picking food that they like or food to fit the theme of the day. Caterers are getting on the band wagon and offering many different choices. Elegant hors dourves can be the food for a cocktail party type of reception. Pasta stations with different sauces and meats or vegetables are a fun alternative to the meat and potato menu. Chicken is always in style but it has gotten glammed up a bit. Chicken with creamy sauces or stuffed with stuffing or ham and cheese. Couples are also choosing dessert bars instead of wedding cake and candy bars for wedding favors.

Roast beef is still on most wedding hall menus but why not make it pot roast with vegetables with gravy and rolls.Its just more fun and everybody loves pot roast. I know one bride on a budget who is serving spaghetti and meatballs and salad!
Trends come and go and sometimes what was old becomes new again. I just hope those ugly bridesmaid dresses with the puffy sleeves never come back!